Dating railroad spikes

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The earliest spikes were simply crude nails and within today's modern industry the most common type has been in regular use since the early s when used in conjunction with wooden ties. In addition, following the development of concrete ties specialized clips have become common, which essentially perform the same function but appear nothing like the typical spike. The spike is one of the most widely recognized pieces of railroad equipment by the general public; whether you work in the industry, enjoy studying it, or even have no interest in trains at all virtually everyone understands what a spike is and its basic function.


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During the industry's early years, however, developing today's railroad spike took some time since there was no established practices in regards to either rail fastening systems or much of anything else related to the operation of trains. As our country's first common-carrier the fledgling company's engineers and surveyors often had to guess and use their own intuition regarding how to lay out and construct the right-of-way.

Railroad spikes dating

Long of the U. Army and chief engineer Jonathan Knight. They decided upon an easy 0.

Railroad spikes dating

As it turns out, steam locomotives could handle stiffer grades but required easier curves. Similar issues were encountered in figuring out what materials to use for the track structure and its width. This width proved to be the industry's standard gauge still used today although it took several decades before it was officially adopted across the industry.

Mounting either strap-iron or solid rails to their wooden or stone crossties also posed a problem. At first, simple nails or pegs were used but this setup proved problematic and unreliable since sometimes these would come loose or simply could not tightly secure the rails to the ties.

It was a simple but ingenious setup that came to be known as flat bottomed rail but today is commonly known as "T"-rail flipped upside down it resembles the uppercase letter "T". Also work great for screen door knobs, cup hooks, cupboard door handles, copper pots and cast iron kettles, mantle decor, fireplace accessories, tack rooms, horse arenas, stables, and ball cap or cowboy hat hangers.

The Smallest Railroad Spikes

Also work great for cup hooks, copper pots and cast iron kettles, mantle decor, fireplace accessories, tack rooms, horse arenas, stables, and ball cap or cowboy hat hangers. Very nice condition, it has that sparkling mineral a type of graphite in the front on the spike also too on the end of the spike there are initials or markings but I cannot make them out, shown in pictures.


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Custom Orders of Your Choice Spikes. Each spike is slightly different.

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Railroad Spike

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Spikes for Track Weighing 16 to 20 Pounds Per Yard

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